A 29-year-old mother from Hong Kong raving about ghosts has been arrested for allegedly smothering her three daughters with pillows while grappling with marital problems, officials said.
The triple homicide that shocked Hong Kong, where violent crime is rare, took place Monday in Sham Shui Po, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where the mom- was living with her children, ages 2, 4 and 5, after becoming estranged from her husband a year ago over his suspected infidelities.
Police responded to the family’s fifth-floor apartment after receiving a call from the mother claiming that her husband had killed their children and stabbed her.
The three young sisters were found unresponsive in the same bed and were then rushed to Caritas Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
Police Superintendent Alan Chung said that no wounds were found on the victims’ bodies and no sharp objects or drugs were observed at the scene.
According to Chung, two pillows stained with blood were recovered, and one of the girls had blood on her mouth and nose, saying it was possible that the pillows were used to smoother the children.
Chung said that the killings, which he described as “a very serious case of family violence,” might have been related to the mother’s marital problems, or her concern for the fate of her children in the event of a divorce.
A source familiar with the case told South China Morning Post that the woman had confessed to the killings, despite previously blaming her husband.
Muhammad Arshad, the chief imam of Hong Kong, told the outlet that the woman’s husband had approached him several months before the tragedy, asking for his help with saving his marriage.
According to Arshad, the husband complained that his wife did not want to live with him anymore and would not let him see their children because of his extramarital affairs.
Although the woman did not have a known history of mental illness, she was said to have been talking incoherently about ghosts and acting strangely during dinner with her mother and younger brother Sunday night.
Despite the purported red flags, her family did not seek psychiatric help for her, and the woman’s brother drove her and his nieces back home after dinner.
Just hours later, the mom-of-three called her mother and said she had killed her children.
So far, the mother has not been criminally charged, and a court ordered a psychiatric examination for her.
With Post wires